Abuse Survivor Comes Forward — Again
By Anne Holliday
August 21, 2018
Bradford native and priest abuse survivor Jim VanSickle was in Bradford today to meet with Father Ray Gramata, pastor of St. Bernard Church. After that, he held a joint news conference with another survivor from Bradford.
Ed Rodgers’ alleged abuser, Rev. Desmond McGee, was not named in the grand jury report but, after speaking with attorney general Josh Shapiro and other investigators in Shapiro’s office, Rodgers and VanSickle believe his name will eventually be made public again.
Rodgers’ did accuse McGee more than 20 years ago but, for all intents and purposes, no one believed him. Although that was painful, he says he came forward this time and the last time because he was concerned that there may be other victims.
Rodgers says he doesn’t blame the church as a whole. In fact, he went into St. Bernard’s Church today, lit a candle and said some prayers.
Rodgers says the attorney general’s office has diocesan records from his case in the ’90s, including the two lie detectors he passed with “flying colors.”
He says the abuse happened from the time he was 14 until he was 17 when he was a student at Bradford Central Christian High School, where McGee was headmaster.
Earlier in the day VanSickle met privately with Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico in Erie.